Percentage of British FIT Travelers Equal to that Booking Packages—So Says Survey. The survey, by carried out by First Rate Exchange Services in conjunction with the Institute of Travel & Tourism, University of Wolverhampton and YouGov, interviewed 5,000 consumers online. Highlights of its findings include the following.
- 26 percent said they’d decided not to travel this year, an increase of two percentage points over last year.
• 56 percent of those polled have decided to travel this year
- Of the 56 percent who have decided to travel this year, almost half have already booked their first trip and 28 percent had booked a second holiday.
- 75 percent of those who will take a holiday intend to spend the same or more than they did on their previous trip.
- There is a fractional increase in those traveling FIT, as 40 percent now take the independent route (up three percentage points since last autumn)
- There is a fractional decrease in demand for package holidays—they’ve dropped from 42 percent to 40 percent.
UK Consumers’ Confidence in Disposable income at Highest Level in Three Years: The latest (Q1 2015) Deloitte Consumer Tracker identifies travel and leisure as the area most likely to attract increased spending. Deloitte issues the Consumer Tracker each quarter, based on a survey of 3,000 UK adults. It reports confidence in disposable income 30 points higher than when Deloitte began the Tracker in the third quarter of 2011 and suggests 2015 could be the best year for consumer spending in 10 years.
Many Over 50 Brits Now Have Pension Funds to Spend—on Travel: it is estimated that, last month, about 18 million people aged 55 and over gained access to up to 25 percent of their pension—tax-free—for the first time, due to relaxed pension rules. And according to the research covering 1,000 people conducted by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, because of the windfall:
- More than three quarters (79 percent) of older people plan to spend up to £10,000 ($15,140) each on a travel experience due to windfalls coming from relaxed pension rules.
- Another 20 percent are prepared to spend up to £20,000 ($30,280) per person.
- A further 320,000 people will become eligible every year for the pension funds. As much as £6 billion ($9.083 billion) will be spent within the first three months following the disbursal of the pension funds, with the number one discretionary spend predicted to be on holidays.
UK Economy May not be Hot, but It’s Warm: The British economy grew at its fastest pace for nine years in 2014 as GDP figures showed the economy expanded by a stronger than expected 2.8 percent last year, according to UK Office for National Statistics (ONS). Quarterly expansion came in at 0.6 percent in the last three months of 2014, leading to overall yearly growth reaching the same levels as before the financial crisis of 2008-2009.